This bright and sunny budget-savvy wedding is so lovely, we just can't help but smile! Laura and Travis created the intimate lakeside wedding of their dreams for just under $10K. We especially love the bright color palette and the stunning floral choices. The details are just gorgeous! Enjoy this sweet sunny Lake Anna Wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Laura + Travis
October 21st, 2017
Bumpass, VA | Mill Run Community Center at Lake Anna
What was the breakdown of your wedding budget?
Tent rental with restrooms: $2000
Tables, chairs, tablecloths, dishes, napkins, and silverware: $2000
My aunt chose to do our flowers as our wedding gift and my sister also chose to make our cupcakes as our gift. Laura's mom bought her wedding dress as her gift for the wedding. Laura's hair stylist also did her hair and makeup for the wedding for free.
Total: approximately $10,000
How did you meet?
We met while playing the online game World of Warcraft. After being friends for a few years through the game, we eventually started talking alone together on Skype, and our feelings started to grow. While talking on Skype one night, I played guitar and sang to Laura, and she fell in love.
What is your proposal story?
Because we had been dating long distance for five years, under the guise of driving around to admire Christmas lights, I took Laura to the train station where I would pick her up when she'd come to visit. I got down on one knee and told her that for years, this was the place that would bring her to me, and then take her away from me. I asked her to marry me and told her that this ring would symbolize her never having to leave me again. She said YES!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
We originally planned to have our wedding in a church in Pennsylvania, the church where my mom and dad were married. While we were there planning our wedding, I went into renal failure and ended up in the hospital. My condition was initially considered acute, but after enduring dialysis for months, I gave up hoping that my kidneys would recover, and was told I would need to be on dialysis permanently. We decided that we'd have to postpone the wedding. We tried to plan our wedding again a second time, but more kidney issues led to us postponing again. We finally decided that we should have the wedding a little closer to home. My aunt had recently bought a beautiful home on the lake and offered to allow us to have our ceremony there. We loved the idea and started planning for the third time. This time it was meant to be. Everything was perfect, and Laura and I, lovers of nature, were able to share our dream wedding. Our favorite time of year is fall, as we both love the changing colors, the cooler weather, and of course, Halloween, so naturally, we chose a fall wedding with fall colors.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Laura went to try on dresses with a specific vision. She wanted a simple mermaid-style dress with no tulle and no beading. She found a dress in the style that she liked, but the consultant took a ball gown from the rack and told her to please try it on. As soon as she tried on the ball gown with a veil and tiara and looked in the mirror, she immediately pictured me waiting for her at the end of the aisle, and at that moment she knew it was the dress for her. My brother had gotten married two weeks before my wedding, and he wore a black tux, so I decided to go with grey tuxes for my groomsmen and I. Laura's bridesmaids wore orange dresses, and her maid and man of honor wore a cranberry dress and tie, respectively, and my groomsmen wore orange ties to match Laura's bridesmaids.
What was most important to you? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Laura insisted on having a DJ for the wedding. At the very least, she wanted somebody to MC for us and didn't feel that a playlist would cut it. My parents were generous enough to pay for most of our wedding, so we tried to keep it classy while keeping the cost reasonable. Laura really wanted somebody who knew our story and what we had been through (a 5-year engagement!) to officiate our wedding, and we were thrilled that my uncle was able to perform the wedding ceremony for us. We also felt that memorable wedding photos were very important, so we tried to find somebody who took great quality photos in the candid style that we really like.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Our wedding really was a family effort, with so many people contributing to make everything come together perfectly, and because of that, we could really feel the love that went into making our day special and unique. I know it sounds like a cop-out, but we really feel that the whole day was memorable and perfect. We did particularly enjoy our one-on-one time with our photographers directly after the wedding ceremony when we took a bit of time to let it soak in that after years of waiting, we were finally husband and wife! One particular memory that Laura loved was arriving at our wedding ceremony on a boat. My aunt's generous neighbors brought her directly to the dock in front of our wedding ceremony on their pontoon boat, from where she could directly walk down the aisle!
Describe your wedding flowers.
Our flowers were beautifully designed and arranged by my aunt and were a complete surprise to Laura on our wedding day. Other than telling her that we'd like fall colored flowers, she had the total creative liberty to do whatever she wanted. On each table at the reception, we placed flower arrangements inside white plastic pumpkins that had their tops removed.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
My sister baked and designed our wedding cupcakes. We chose to go with cupcakes instead of a traditional tiered wedding cake so we could have more variety in the flavors we chose. We decided on carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate with peanut butter frosting and topped with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pieces, a simple chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, and sticking with the fall theme – a pumpkin spice cupcake with cream cheese frosting. She also made us a lemon flavored cutting cake with lemon icing that was absolutely delicious.
What did you do for favors?
For favors, we ordered small 3×3 inch clear boxes, and filled them with half a graham cracker, half a Hershey's Chocolate Bar, 4 large marshmallows, and topped them with another graham cracker half to make a S'more. We tied ribbons in bows around the boxes, and added tags that read, “Sending you S'more Love – Laura & Travis 10.21.17”
Describe and DIY, personal, or handmade details.
Our entire wedding was essentially DIY or handmade. My mom made various signs that were placed throughout our reception area, and my sister used her Cricut machine to create the lettering for the signs. At the entrance to our reception, instead of a typical guest book, we had an image of a tree. We had stamp pads with various fall colors and asked guests to stamp their thumbprints on the tree and sign their name below it. Our guests created a beautiful fall tree that we will remember forever! We also placed large colorful mums and pumpkins throughout our wedding ceremony and reception areas, as well as hanging tulle to add accents.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
Laura wore her late aunt's locket throughout the day to honor her memory. When Laura's friends get married, they make sure they do a silly bridal party dance, so for our wedding, our wedding party chose to dance to the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding now?
Remember that it's not worth arguing or nitpicking over small details. None of your guests will know that something was out of place, that something was supposed to happen but didn't, or that colors were a bit off. Everything won't go perfectly according to plan, but the day will be perfect regardless because, at the end of it, you're husband and wife. Remember to take a bit of time to yourselves after your ceremony to enjoy one another, even if it's only for a few minutes, reminding yourselves that you'll only get to have this moment once. Make a budget and stick to it. You don't need to have the most extravagant and expensive wedding to have a beautiful wedding, and either way, at the end of the day you're still married.
Photography: Hart of Grace Photography • Ceremony Venue: Mill Run Community Center • Reception Venue: Private Home • Event Planning: Kyann Woznick and Alanna Frazier • Floral: Alanna Frazier • Catering: Party Services by Dori • DJ: Joe Herman • Wedding Cake: Nicole Stone • Hair: Vanessa Lewis • Makeup: Vanessa Lewis • Wedding Dress: Ballet's Bridal • Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse • Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo • Submitted via: Matchology
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.